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May 2019

Merriam-Webster "ȧ"Edit

I don't know where I ought to bring this, but since it is only tangentially related to Wiktionary, I thought that this may be the best place to bring it.

I noticed that our entry for blague does not give any pronunciation for the word. I looked the word up through DuckDuckGo, and Merriam-Webster's entry for it was the first (or one of the first) to come up.

I usually avoid Merriam-Webster like the plague because I strongly dislike it and its general philosophy, but I thought "What's the harm?" and clicked on the link on the search results page.

And then I saw the pronunciation section...

Oh, right. They use their own silly little system for whatever reason rather than using IPA. *sigh* Well, whatever.

The "pronunciation" given is this:

\ ˈbläg, -ȧg\


I have been able to decipher it to this extent thus far:

/blɑg, -?g/

The problem lies in what their confusing vowel transcriptions mean. I found this unnecessarily long "pronunciation guide", that ironically uses IPA to explain their own silly transcription system, and even seems to indicate that their choices for how they transcribe things are not always perfectly ideal.

Through that, I was able to determine that the first pronunciation that they gave was actually /blɑg/ (they describe it as "the vowel of bother", which is not exactly accurate, especially because the actual vowel of bother is still used in parts of the very region that I live in).

But even using their guide, /ȧ/--excuse me, "\ȧ\", is not explained (unless I missed it. I don't think that I did).

The reason that this is particularly bothersome in this case is that I assumed that the two pronunciations must have meant

/blæg/ and /bleɪg/

...but I was way off apparently, because, according to their guide, (in their system) /blæg/ would be "\ ˈblag\", and /bleɪg/ would be "\ ˈblāg\".

So I have no idea what "\ ˈblȧg\" is supposed to represent. Does anyone have any clue about this? Tharthan (talk) 22:23, 1 May 2019 (UTC)

Wikipedia's entry on ȧ says "it is occasionally used as a phonetic symbol for a low central vowel, /ä/." OTOH, Pronunciation respelling for English says Merriam-Webster uses both it and \ä\ for /ɑ/, from which (and the explanation at Merriam-Webster#Pronunciation_guides of the rationale behind them) I gather that the difference may be intended to indicate that some dialects have a particular split or merger which causes this word to be pronounced like other words which use the same symbol (which can be found via google:Merriam Webster "ȧ", which might help deduce what it is (e.g. via comparison to other dictionaries): maybe it indicates what precise pronunciation it has relative to one of these splits/mergers? Sadly, other dictionaries I looked at only have one pronunciation, corresponding to the first one MW lists. - -sche (discuss) 03:02, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
Don't bother with what they say, look for words that rhyme with the pronunciations you think it might have, and see how they're transcribed. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:54, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
It's very aggravating that they omit \ȧ\ from the pronunciation key, but the entry for Bostonese, which I found in the Google results, says "the speech of Boston and the immediately surrounding region marked by certain features (such as the use of \ȧ\ for the a in ask) that set it off sharply from most other speech patterns of the U.S." Apparently this only means the specially broadened a, because it doesn't include the a in father; the only transcription they give for that is \ˈfä-t͟hər\. Bother is transcribed \ˈbä-t͟hər\, so I guess they aren't representing the Boston accent that distinguishes father from bother but pronounces cot and caught the same, but another accent that has broadening of a reminiscent of southern English English but still pronounces the vowels of father and bother alike. — Eru·tuon 04:32, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
Ohhh, I think that I might have an idea. I am aware that a huge percentage of younger Boston English speakers ditch the Boston Dialect's traditional trap-bath split [that is essentially the same one that is found in Received Pronunciation and other manners of speaking that are based upon the kind of English speech widely associated with Southern England] in favour of a split for those same words that mimics the kind of unsavoury æ-tensing found in dialects in areas of the country that were hit by the Northern Cities Vowel Shift (this is not typically found that I know of in Eastern New England. In fact, at least where I live, this is one of the very noticeable distinguishing marks between New York City English and the dialect of New England English spoken in my city [it's a "suburban city", though, understand], along with the difference in how we pronounce aunt as /ɑnt/, whereas in New York City English it is a homophone of ant).
So I'm wondering (since you brought up the entry for "Bostonese" in Merriam-Webster, and its possible relevance) if "\ ˈblȧg\" is supposed to represent /blɛəg/.
Or... it could be a pedantic symbol to distinguish (in some convoluted and roundabout way) /ɑ/ and /ɒ/ for the sake of the traditional Boston dialect (because the traditional Boston dialect retains both the father-bother distinction and has the trap-bath split [in the traditional sense]). The thing is, that would be very arcane if that is indeed the case, particularly because the problem lies in the fact that they explain \ä\ as the vowel of "bother", rather than as the vowel of "father" or "ha" or something. If they used a different symbol to represent /ɒ/ in their utterly unnecessary system, this problem (if that is indeed what is going on) would not exist. This second explanation would explain what -sche mentioned earlier as well.
Tharthan (talk) 07:34, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
It does look like \ȧ\ is representing a pronunciation with a trapbath split (what I meant by "broad a"), together with some non-rhotic pronunciations, as in Carlylism, because of which words have been given that symbol. I also think they are more likely to represent an older pronunciation that has had time to get famous. In any case, they don't seem to be using the symbol very systematically, based on the search results and several entries in the broad a or æ-tensing categories that I visited. Maybe it's a recent innovation that they haven't gotten around to fully using. — Eru·tuon 08:19, 2 May 2019 (UTC)

"(US, rhotic, r-dissimilation)"Edit

(Was debating whether to bring this here or to the Tea Room)

How can this be distinguished from relics of non-rhotic pronunciation amongst younger speakers of historically non-rhotic dialects?

For instance:




(Incidentally, I have heard /ˈfoʊwɚd/ used for forward by a number of people in my country, but not generally by speakers of my dialect [and I don't use it myself, either]. Our entry for forward gives a similar pronunciation to this, but doesn't give it as being used at all in the United States of America. Perhaps we ought to take another look at that.)

...These are indeed the pronunciations that I, for instance, use. But it isn't because of "r-dissimilation". It's because the local dialect in my area has historically been non-rhotic. My mother's speech is, in rough estimation, 75% rhotic, and my father's speech is, in rough estimation, 85% rhotic.

My speech is, in rough estimation, 95% rhotic. Furthermore, to my mind, the fact that an "r" is in a word is fully evident. The r-dropping in my speech is essentially something that happens in relaxed speech, when I am in a state of passion (in discussion), and when I am drowsy. I don't resist it, because I have no desire to. It is not as if I start speaking in a non-rhotic fashion à la John F. Kennedy. I just will often, in a sentence, pronounce some of the words (not always, but it is quite common) without their final r.

So, again, how does one distinguish between instances of "r-dissimilation" and just vestiges of historical dialectal non-rhoticity? Is it even possible to do that? Tharthan (talk) 21:01, 2 May 2019 (UTC)

The pronunciations above are commonly found even among speakers whose dialects are otherwise historically fully rhotic. While it's possible these speakers could be borrowing from non-rhotic dialects, it's telling that this only seems to occur in words with nearby rhotic sounds, suggesting that dissimilation, rather than interdialectal borrowing, is the likely cause. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 13:57, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

Southern OhloneEdit

How can I cite the following[1] for all the css words that I have added?Ndołkah (talk) 10:38, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

My attempt:
{{cite-book|author=Felipe Arroyo de la Cuesta|authorlink=Felipe Arroyo de la Cuesta|title=Grammar of the Mutsun language, spoken at the Mission of San Juan Bautista, Alta California|publisher=Cramoisy Press|year=1861|volume=IV|series=Shea’s Library of American Linguistics|url=}}.
which produces
Felipe Arroyo de la Cuesta (1861) Grammar of the Mutsun language, spoken at the Mission of San Juan Bautista, Alta California (Shea’s Library of American Linguistics)‎[2], volume IV, Cramoisy Press.
There is a 1970 reprint by AMS Press, but it is out of print.  --Lambiam 19:21, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
Please note that the orthography used by Arroyo was based on Spanish and may be considered outdated. For example, his spelling capjan for /kɑphɑn/ is rendered in the Mutsun–English English–Mutsun Dictionary published by the University of Hawai’i as kaphan.  --Lambiam 19:43, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
Well capjan and kaphan make the same sound the letter j in spanish is /x/ just like the h in howdy or kaphan, I am fluent in both English and Spanish and think I can figure it out. Thank you for the resources.Ndołkah (talk) 20:03, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
There is a difference between the voiceless velar fricative /x/ and the voiceless glottal fricative /h/. The latter phoneme does not occur in Castilian, at least not in the area Arroyo came from (the heart of Castile), so it is not strange that he substituted the closest phoneme known to him. Still, it is not the same.  --Lambiam 21:11, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
Furthermore, changing the topic slightly to orthography and not phonology, spelling the word with a K for a native Spanish reader would trigger the "loanword detector" immediately, and I suspect many native Spanish speakers reading "kaphan" spelled with a K might actually read it out loud as if it were the pseudo-Spanish word "cafán", because the K triggered the "loanword detector" and then the PH becomes a digraph from Greek that sounds like F in Spanish orthography. I suspect Spanish speakers who can read are almost universally aware that PH in loanwords "would usually be F in Spanish". I recall a friend of mine reading the English word "haphazard", and I said "Phaser what? Phaser like in Star Trek?" (He may have simplified the word-final RD consonant cluster to /ɹ/ with no sound for the written letter D, or the /f/ sound may have thrown me too far off track.) "Capjan" for a Spanish audience seems like the safest spelling, albeit imprecise. Fluoborate (talk) 03:13, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
But...we're not writing for a Spanish audience.
Ideally we should be using whichever spelling system / orthography is most used by the people in question, which may be whichever is most modern. Failing that, a more phonetic system (like kaphan if the word is indeed /kɑphɑn/) seems preferable. - -sche (discuss) 07:43, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
I seeNdołkah (talk) 22:08, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

Northern OhloneEdit

Any resources or wordlists available for Northern Ohlone?Ndołkah (talk) 20:28, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

I was given access the a linguistic gem by the University of California Berkeley library, they are Harrington's Chochenyo (Northern Ohlone) field notes with María de los Angeles Colós and José Guzman fluent tribal members of the time, can someone create a citation for me to paste to all the new entries I have been able to make, the notes are largely a Spanish-Northern Ohlone dictionary with some notes in English as well.Ndołkah (talk) 11:53, 10 May 2019 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you mean by "create a citation". Do you mean a citation template? —Rua (mew) 11:57, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
Something like this @RuaNdołkah (talk) 12:30, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
{{cite-book|author=Felipe Arroyo de la Cuesta|authorlink=Felipe Arroyo de la Cuesta|title=Grammar of the Mutsun language, spoken at the Mission of San Juan Bautista, Alta California|publisher=Cramoisy Press|year=1861|volume=IV|series=Shea’s Library of American Linguistics|url=}}.
which produces
Felipe Arroyo de la Cuesta (1861) Grammar of the Mutsun language, spoken at the Mission of San Juan Bautista, Alta California (Shea’s Library of American Linguistics)‎[3], volume IV, Cramoisy Press
So you want a template that produces that text? —Rua (mew) 12:34, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
I just want to put in a reference to some new entries!Ndołkah (talk) 16:20, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
I think you want a template so you don't have to copy and paste the whole reference. Usually reference templates are prefixed with R: ({{R:LSJ}}) and sometimes the language code is added ({{R:ar:Wehr-4}}). For the reference above, possible titles are {{R:de la Cuesta}} or {{R:cst:de la Cuesta}}. — Eru·tuon 04:57, 11 May 2019 (UTC)


the system won't key me create antivaxxer —This unsigned comment was added by Ndołkah (talkcontribs) at 04:57, 5 May 2019 (UTC).

There's a filter for titles with "xx". DTLHS (talk) 05:02, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
Created it. — Eru·tuon 05:19, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
ThankiesNdołkah (talk) 08:39, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

My link to "adolescent (ro)" goes nowhere, but the others workEdit

This is quite likely a stupid question, but I read the docs for the template "desc" (descendant) and I can't fix it. I just added two more descendants for the Latin word adolescens (section: Descendants) - it has obvious cognates in Romanian and Catalan that were not listed until I added them. I just pasted the same template with "ca" for Catalan and "ro" for Romanian, and the proper spellings. The Catalan link works. The Romanian link does not. And it is not a redlink. Hyperlinks to Romanian nouns are especially important because Romanian nouns are highly inflected (relative to Spanish or English), and this common Romanian word has the whole declension table on Wiktionary, because Wiktionary is awesome: adolescent (Romanian). It is a bluelink on the Latin "adolescens" page (the first link in this post), but clicking on the bluelink brings you to the English entry for "adolescent", not the Romanian entry. The lemma forms in English and Romanian do share spelling (singular in English, singular-nominative in Romanian). This may contribute to the problem.

Please fix it and then tell me how you did so. Thank you. Fluoborate (talk) 02:54, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

Links on English Wiktionary go to entries on English Wiktionary, not Romanian Wiktionary. There's no entry on English Wiktionary for Romanian adolescent. — Eru·tuon 02:58, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

how do i format mashkodebizhiki to make it more like ᒪᔥᑯᑌᐱᔑᑭ?Edit

or should they be in one entry? how are entries in other languages with multiple scripts handled before i go ahead and Syllabics to the other Ojibwe entries?Ndołkah (talk) 06:57, 8 May 2019 (UTC)

Content should (consistently, across all entries) be at whichever script is more common overall, and entries at the other script form should be soft redirects of some form, using a template to display something like "Latin script form of..." or "Canadian Aboriginal Syllabic form of...". The lemma entry could link to the other entry in its headword, like Serbo-Croatian does. Serbo-Croatian is, incidentally, an exception to the usual practice of lemmatization; full entries are allowed to exist and fall out of sync at multiple script forms. Most reference works I've seen use Latin script, even though some also include syllabic script, FWIW. (Incidentally, Wiktionary needs to apply a "Runic script form of..." template to ᚱᛁᛋᛏᛅ and the few other Runic Old Norse entries... and consider whether to move the Cyrillic spelling of iubi, юби, into the headword line like with Serbo-Croatian... but anyway юби has an example of a language-specific script-form-of template...) - -sche (discuss) 07:54, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
I see so could you fix up mashkodebizhiki for me so I have an example of how to do it. And what is a soft redirect exactly, how does it differ from a regular redirect. Basically I am understanding that ᒪᔥᑯᑌᐱᔑᑭ should be on the mashkodebizhiki entry and the ᒪᔥᑯᑌᐱᔑᑭ should redirect to mashkodebizhiki, correct?Ndołkah (talk) 08:25, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
A "soft redirect" is an entry with minimal content, just some form of "___ form of" template on the definition line that "redirects" (points) users to the main spelling. As for mashkodebizhiki, my own inclination would be to make it the lemma and have ᒪᔥᑯᑌᐱᔑᑭ soft-redirect to it, because most works I've seen use Latin script and it seems easier to input. But my experience may be limited. User:Stephen G. Brown, do you have any knowledge of whether Ojibwe is more often written in Latin script or in Syllabic script? (Does it differ in the US vs Canada?) - -sche (discuss) 00:49, 9 May 2019 (UTC)

'the cover is a detail'Edit

On the Edward Said page, we have the sentence: "The cover of the book Orientalism (1978) is a detail from the 19th-century Orientalist painting The Snake Charmer, by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824–1904)." What does the word detail mean here? I have seen this type of usage before I think. --Geographyinitiative (talk) 08:41, 12 May 2019 (UTC)

"7. A part distinct from the whole." —Suzukaze-c 08:45, 12 May 2019 (UTC)
"Detail of Mona Lisa (1503–1506) by Leonardo da Vinci, Louvre." —Suzukaze-c 08:46, 12 May 2019 (UTC)
@Suzukaze-c I find this usage distinct from that definition and from the example given for that definition on the detail page. I'm trying to think of a synonym that could be switched with the 'detail' in both the Mona Lisa and Snake Charmer instances to the same effect. So far I have section and portion, but I don't they they are quite right. Is there a usage like this outside the art world? My initial speculation was that there was a artsy feel to this usage. --Geographyinitiative (talk) 09:29, 12 May 2019 (UTC) (modified)
I would say sense 7 as well, but I don't agree with the current citation of sense 7 being where it is. The "details of [WikiLeaks] corruption" are the specifics, as opposed to a broad or general view, whereas the "detail" from a painting is a small portion of it. Equinox 11:13, 12 May 2019 (UTC)
@Equinox, Suzukaze-c I'm trying to read this art dictionary definition for 'detail' but my head is starting to spin I think that there is a possibility that there is special meaning for the word 'detail' in the art community, specifically for paintings (maybe also for photos? that's just a guess). --Geographyinitiative (talk) 13:42, 12 May 2019 (UTC)
It is as Equinox says, a small portion of a larger artwork. It is typically something that has a meaning of its own, like a bee, or a brooch, or a bible. Or whatever, as long as someone considered it interesting to examine, for whatever reason. It can also be an enlarged portion of an artwork that serves to demonstrate a technique, such as the brush strokes of a Van Gogh, or the hatching and crosshatching in a Rembrandt drawing.  --Lambiam 22:44, 12 May 2019 (UTC)
@Equinox, Lambiam, Suzukaze-c Sorry to bother y'all again, but I just want to confirm that I didn't mess up the detail page. Do you think adding this definition is worthwhile? I think it is, because I can't get from 'A part distinct from the whole.' to 'a selected portion of a painting'. We don't take a car and say, "This is a detail of the steering wheel." like we can say "This is a detail of the Mona Lisa." --Geographyinitiative (talk) 03:57, 14 May 2019 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Yes, one would. I does not have to be a painting or other work of art: detail of matching gears, detail of rudder, detail of an iron gate, ..., so the sense “a selected portion of a painting” is too restrictive. Oxford Living Dictionaries gives the main definition “An individual feature, fact, or item”, which I think is also not very clear, but it is elaborated upon by giving more detailed subsenses, including “A small part of a picture or other work of art reproduced separately for close study”. While this is indeed a common use, the examples above show the “small part” need not be a part of a work of art. When you combine the Oxford def with our current sense 7, you get: “An individual feature, fact, or item, considered separately from the whole of which it is a part.” Would that be sufficient clarification? This should then be illustrated with well chosen usexes or quotations – the current single quotation at sense 7 is in my opinion not apt; the sense is actually a different one.  --Lambiam 09:24, 14 May 2019 (UTC)

Two thingsEdit

1. How do pingbacks work? I have created/started major work on some articles that seriously need input from people more well-versed in the language than me, and apparently you aren't meant to ping them back on the article itself. 2. Thai transliteration. I have created some Thai entries, namely โอลิงกีโต (oo-ling-gii-dtoo) and เมียร์แคต‎ (miia-kɛ́t‎). When I put the appropriate template there, not all the transliterations show up.

--Corsicanwarrah (talk) 12:32, 13 May 2019 (UTC)

When a link to an editor such as [[User:John Smith]] is added to a page, that editor gets an alert (aka notification): “So-and-so mentioned you on page ABC in section XYZ”. Instead of using wiki markup like that, you can use the ping template in the form {{ping|John Smith}}. On the page it will look thus: “@John Smith”, with a link to the editor’s page. When using ping, you can specify up to nine users to be notified. Since the output is visible with either of the two methods, this should only be used on discussion pages.  --Lambiam 22:05, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
One detail that most people get wrong is that pinging only works if the message, the ping/user name, and your signature are in the same edit. If you get the user name wrong or you forget to sign, fixing such things won't make the ping work. Another, fairly new feature is wikilinking to the user name in the edit summary( i.e: "User:Corsicanwarrah, this needs attention from someone who knows the language").
Whatever method you use, use discretion: it's like waving your arms and yelling to get someone's attention- it's necessary sometimes, but if you do it all the time, you get on people's nerves. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:10, 14 May 2019 (UTC)

Moving/merging misspelt pageEdit

The page toodeloo is a misspelling of toodle-oo (note that the latter has actual examples of usage; moreover, "toodeloo", unlike "toodle-oo", is not listed as a word in well-known dictionaries such as Merriam-Webster (1 2) or the OED (1 2)).

The pages should be merged, but I am not exactly sure what merging pages entails. Just cut and paste the content from toodeloo to toodle-oo, and turn the former into a redirect? There is a template {{merge}}, but it lacks documentation and so I am unsure under what circumstances it ought to be used. --Superiority (talk) 19:46, 14 May 2019 (UTC)

We don't merge pages on Wiktionary, note the documentation of the template (which is present!) that says "Mergers of dictionary entries are inappropriate since each spelling gets its own page." Instead, if you doubt the existence of a term, you can use the WT:RFV process. —Rua (mew) 20:12, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
This spelling is easily attested: [4], [5], [6]. Since the etymology is unknown and toodle by itself doesn’t mean anything, it isn’t clear why one should consider toodeloo a misspelling of toodle-oo, rather than the other way around.  --Lambiam 22:50, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
The dictionary entries (and lack thereof) in major British and American dictionaries are why one should consider that. The OED has an attestation of "toodle-oo" from 1907. And, notably, the links you give for "toodeloo" are American publications, despite the word being "chiefly British" in usage (and somewhat rare even there); Americans misspelling a word that's not used in American English is not unexpected. --Superiority (talk) 00:33, 15 May 2019 (UTC)

Grammar question: correlative comparative constructionsEdit

I've found an interesting article about those, but I couldn't find an answer to my question there.

I would like to know whether this sentence is completely grammatical: "the fewer trucks there will be on the roads, the safer they will become".

I'm in doubt because I was told you can't use the future tense in the first part of the comparison, hence you should write instead: "the fewer trucks there are on the roads, the safer they will become" (similarly, not "**the more he will brag, the more people will laugh at him" but "the more he brags, the more people will laugh at him", etc.).

Thoughts? @Equinox, Mihia, Tharthan?

Canonicalization (talk) 23:04, 18 May 2019 (UTC)

Aside from the fact that it is incorrect, "the more there will be, the safer they will become" simply sounds unnatural to me in regard to formation. Remember that "to be" means "to exist" (pretty much, and definitely so in the sense used in those examples). What you want to say is "the greater the amount that exist, the safer that they will become" or "the greater the amount that are there, the safer that they will become", hence the reason why the sentence is properly formed with "are" and not "will be", and why "brags" is proper and "will brag" is not in the example that you gave. Tharthan (talk) 23:19, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
"The more there will be, the safer they will become," sounds pretty natural to me. Informal, perhaps, but not incorrect. A regional difference, perhaps? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 01:27, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
What you were told is correct: it should be "are" and not "will be". However, I would say that the resulting sentence is still slightly unclear. It could be read as implying that each individual truck will be safer if there are fewer trucks, whereas I suppose the intended meaning is actually that each truck will not necessarily be any more safe, but overall safety will be improved simply because there are fewer. Mihia (talk) 01:32, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
I don't think it's grammatically incorrect but it is definitely not how a native speaker would say it. It sounds wrong in the same way that "if you will come to England next year, we'll meet up!" sounds wrong (you'd really say "if you come to England..."). I don't really understand the rules here but we don't generally use the "will" / future tense when we are talking about a conditional situation. "If you will" is a set of three words that don't really occur together. Equinox 02:05, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
The more..., the more... is a structure related to the concepts or irrealis and therefore subjunctive mood, as are whenever..., if..., would, as long as... etc --Backinstadiums (talk) 20:54, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
But, but... we have an entry for if you will, so the three words really do occur together (I know what you meant to say, but, still...). Chuck Entz (talk) 21:32, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz: In fact those "will" are not modals....--Backinstadiums (talk) 22:33, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
Thanks to everyone for this! Canonicalization (talk) 08:44, 26 May 2019 (UTC)

Learning stress and toneEdit

In general, how are new learners of a language supposed to pick up stress and tone? I don't mean in specifically tonal languages like Chinese, but e.g. in English.

An example: tonight somebody on an Internet radio station said he had just noticed you could vote for jingles (the little non-songs that play in between the real songs), and I said "you could always vote for jingles". Aloud, there would be a marked stress on "AL-ways". However, if I were making a suggestion (like "you could always try voting for jingles!") then the stress and pitch would both be quite different -- there would be a terminal rise, for one thing.

I've seen various notation for this, like the stress mark in IPA and the acute/grave accents to show a rise/fall, but it's not something that seems to appear in textbooks or to be taught consistently, outside of specifically tonal languages. Is it? Should it be? Can it be? Equinox 00:28, 23 May 2019 (UTC)

@Equinox: I think this would super hard to indicate outside of multi-word phrases. We could make suprasegmental appendices though, were we could try to explain stuff like this for a certain language, which I think would be helpful. Julia 01:12, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
Yes, I wasn't exactly asking "how can we do this here?" but rather "in general how, if at all, is this taught?". (I do think we could really use a WikiGrammar, and our clunky phrasebook entries and appendices are sometimes a sort of blind striving towards this.) Equinox 01:17, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
(Rambling a bit more: while reference works like ours can be extremely useful, who ever learned a language from a dictionary? Brief-holiday phrasebookery is the best we can achieve in this format.) I've also just recalled the first time I ever became aware of the semantic importance of stress. It was in David Crystal's Who cares about English usage? (1984) and I think I can still remember the examples: "a toy factory" makes them but "a toy factory" is one; "an English teacher" spreads the language but "an English teacher" has the nationality. Equinox 01:21, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
This seems pretty easy to explain (compoundy nouns vs. adjective/attr. noun + noun), but then there's stress that implies stuff which seems hard to deal with: "Pick up the red pick up the green [high tone] X"; X is expected to be "crayon"; if it's not, the utterance is ungrammatical IMO. Anyways the easiest way to learn this is just by listening to people talk, which obviously we can't provide. I've never been explicitly taught about tone in my German classes; I just picked it up. Julia 02:03, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
Some people can easily internalize explicitly stated rules, which typically requires some knowledge of grammatical terminology, such as for the parts of speech and syntactic entities, as well as the ability to apply that knowledge to parse phrases. Other learners have a hard time with that and need to hear examples from which their speech facility extracts the rules. The Wikipedia article Turkish phonology has an extensive section on stress in Turkish (called “accent” there – Turkish linguists cannot agree whether this is a stress accent or a pitch accent!). Internalizing these rules from this description so that one can apply it in speech is obviously not an easy thing to do. And, as extensive as this section is, it is not complete; in particular, an exposition of intonation patterns is missing, as well as how they interact in non-trivial ways with the word accent. Also, the division of a sentence into phrase is not always as you might expect from Indo-European languages, and you have to get the phrasing right to get the continuation intonation in the right places. For Japanese you basically have to learn the patterns word by word; also, they depend on the region – for more, see Japanese pitch accent. I have never seen a description of stress in Sranan Tongo, but for compounds it works just the other way around than for English: “A toy factory" makes them but "a toy factory" is one." Or, in Sranan: “Wan pika fabriki e meki den, ma wan pika fabriki na wan.”  --Lambiam 17:24, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
According to the Longman Pronunciation Dictionary, " Usually, Compound words / phrases have early/late stress, respectively. Yet, among grammatical compounds pronounced with late stress are those where the first element names the material or ingredient (except for the terms cake, juice, water, so ˈorange juice), so a ˌpork ˈpie, a ˌrubber ˈduck, or a ˌpaper ˈbag (bag made of paper) but ˈpaper bag (bag for newspapers) --Backinstadiums (talk) 11:20, 26 May 2019 (UTC)
It may help to look at historical English to explain this. Old English had compound words, but to indicate a material an adjective such as golden was used. In modern English, it seems that material compounds retain the stress pattern of the original adjective+noun phrase, and may actually still be analysed as such based on the stress pattern alone. —Rua (mew) 14:24, 26 May 2019 (UTC)
Also, there are cases distinguished by phrase intonation alone. Combinations in which the gerund is the first element have early stress if the gerund is the modifier of a compound (i.e. with genitival meaning), and late stress if the second element is the verb's object. Combinations with the present participle as first element always have late stress. This distinguishes e.g. baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) with early stress from baking soda (soda that bakes / the act of baking soda) with late stress. —Rua (mew) 22:54, 26 May 2019 (UTC)

Is there a way to use the Wizard Template editor for updating templates?Edit

I can use the Wizard Template editor extension to insert a template onto a page and enter the parameters from the editor so that I don't have to type in the syntax by hand. Is there a way to use the Wizard Template editor for updating a template that's already been published?

I added some new tenses to a verb conjugation template and I need to put in the verb inflections for the new tenses. I can type the syntax but I'm dealing with at least 30 more parameters, so I'm looking for what's convenient. Otherwise, I'll just renter the conjugations I already put in. Corbariano (talk) 05:22, 23 May 2019 (UTC)

⿱TX symbol = 元Edit

I have a receipt from Taipei, Taiwan on which it is clear that the word 元 (the currency of Taiwan) is substituted with a symbol "⿱TX", that is to say, a capital T directly above a capital X. The symbol is the same height as the numbers it is printed next to. For instance, "55⿱TX" (which seems to mean "55元"). Has anyone ever seen this? What does this mean? --Geographyinitiative (talk) 12:52, 25 May 2019 (UTC)

I was given an explanation, which I added here: TX --Geographyinitiative (talk) 10:57, 26 May 2019 (UTC)


Please assist; in Wikipedia there is a hatnote template Template:Distinguish, for items that are prone to confusion. There appears not to be the same thing in Wiktionary. Is there a similar facility in Wiktionary, and if not why not and what do we use instead? I am not comfortable with adding cautionary notes to the word definitions, especially when one word has several usages, and one does not want to add the same caution to every entry anyway.

Incidentally, the question arose because I am working on parados and difficulty arose because of confusion with the unrelated word parodos, of totally different etymology, meaning and history, and you can guess the resulting mess, when commonly both words even get confused with paradox!

Thanks for attention. JonRichfield (talk) 14:17, 26 May 2019 (UTC)

You can use ====See also==== to list similarly spelled words that people might be looking for instead of the word where they've landed, and you can use ====Usage notes==== to explain the difference between two words in more detail. —Mahāgaja · talk 15:25, 26 May 2019 (UTC)

Error editEdit

Hello. I have an issue here. i.e. an SLO error appears. What do you mean?. Abuse 83. Khris249 (talk) 13:27, 27 May 2019 (UTC)

@Khris249: This is part of the Special:AbuseFilter system. Filter 83 stops edits for accounts that have fewer than 20 edits from performing certain actions. You didn't necessarily do anything wrong--just continue performing edits here and after 20, you'll be fine. —Justin (koavf)TCM 20:19, 27 May 2019 (UTC)

Tag PHP suddenlyEdit

Suddenly, since the 27th of May, all my edits are marked with the phrase: Tag: PHP7. I don't know why, I don't know what it is... How could I stop it from appearing please? --sarri.greek (talk) 00:16, 29 May 2019 (UTC)

See mw:Beta Features/PHP7. PHP7 is part of the software that the server is using. The page doesn't mention a way to turn off the tags. — Eru·tuon 02:10, 29 May 2019 (UTC)
It does say "You can ignore the PHP7 tags". —Mahāgaja · talk 06:03, 29 May 2019 (UTC)
Thank you both. I thought it was my fault. --sarri.greek (talk) 07:21, 29 May 2019 (UTC)
It vanished!! how nice! --sarri.greek (talk) 10:48, 29 May 2019 (UTC)

June 2019

Template:R:Online Etymology DictionaryEdit

With regard to the template's default message [...] in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2019, please remove the excess space before Online. Regards--Hildeoc (talk) 13:43, 2 June 2019 (UTC)

@Hildeoc: I can only see a single space before "Online" in the actual template. — Eru·tuon 00:03, 3 June 2019 (UTC)

What is this called? (type of paper advert)Edit

A sheet of paper with a description at the top, and the bottom has been slit into a number of separate "tabs" that can be torn off, so anybody interested can take a tab with the phone number etc. on it. They may be used for classified ads on notice boards, or requests for survey participants, etc. Equinox 15:17, 7 June 2019 (UTC)

Managed to find some document templates for these, and they were mostly called "tear-off flyers". Equinox 21:32, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
Corroborated by this image search.  --Lambiam 00:45, 11 June 2019 (UTC)